My new graduates

Today I returned home from Fayetteville. I traveled down yesterday morning to see Garrett's (my brother) high school graduation. Two weeks ago, Wendy and I were in Fayetteville for our good friend Trip's College graduation. I'm a bit graduation'ed out now, and I thought May was the time to get wedding'ed out.

I can't express how excited and proud I am for both Garrett and Trip. In this day and age (since I've lived for sooo-ooo long), I think it's becoming harder and harder to accomplish such large things. And now it just becomes even larger. College for Garrett and a Master's for Trip. I wish the both of them good luck and the knowledge that I'm there for either of them if they need me.

Sitting in Bud Walton Arena for both graduations isn't quite the same as watching the Razorbacks play basketball. In fact, it's quite the opposite. You, your friends and family all pile into the stands, after barely managing to meet up in one spot to go inside. You get there early, of course, as to not miss out on good seats — bare in mind that there are LOT of graduating students, better seat = better chance to actually make facial features out.

So after you ramble inside and get your seats, you sit. And sit. And sit. And then, just as you're about to nod off, the procession begins and the students are filing into the arena. You're awake now, looking at each kid, trying to figure out if they're the one that you're here to see. Finally, you give up, it's a lost cause really. Unless they have fashioned some way of letting you know where they're at (a la something on their hat), then it's no use.

The students are seated, then the administrators and faculty are introduced, and then everyone gets the pleasure of listening to students give talks about the past, present and future. PLEASE NOTE: The entire audience would love nothing more than to hear more speeches... no, really.

On rare occasions the speeches are good... like when all of Jupiter's moons are aligned-rare. But 99.99999% of the time they're all cliche:

Cliche 1 My personal favorite is the kid they choose to represent the class that obviously wasn't really a part of the class - the nerd. It's funny that those kids choose to use the terms "we this" and "we that." Come on, we all know those kids had their nose so far in their books that they even freaked out teachers.

Cliche 2 Some kid gets up there and uses some children's book or a movie reference. Please. Nothing you can say about those two could come close to matching up to High School or College.

Cliche 3 "I was told to act natural and be myself" = I rehearsed this speech 2,245 times, I talk in a super-fast monotone voice, and have never said anything like this in my day-to-day conversations with my friends.

Cliche 4 Saying something over-the-top inspiring. I'm not even going to elaborate.

I'm sure there are many more out there, but I think you get the point. If you're going to be speaking at a graduation soon, please do something fresh before I start banning graduations altogether. I'll do it... I will!

+ original post date: May 23, 2004 06:10 PM
+ categories: Family/Friends


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